Monday, August 17, 2015

Quinoa and Cauliflower Cakes

I recently ran across a post which contained a recipe for Quinoa Cauliflower "Meat" Balls. They looked and sounded great, but the day I went to make them I was not really in the mood for an Italian style "meat" ball.

As the rest of the family was having crab cakes for dinner, I decided to morph the recipe into a cake that was reminiscent of the flavor of crab cakes. Hence, this recipe was born.

The cakes are nice and crispy on the outside, while tender and soft on the inside.  They would do well on a roll or between two slices of bread. I decided to dress them up with a remoulade containing just a hint of sriracha sauce. A perfect compliment.

The base recipe is pretty versatile; you could certainly adjust the seasoning to create any flavor profile you are craving.

Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes

For the cake:
1 cup quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
1 head cauliflower, cut into peices
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cup whole grain bread crumb
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise)
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, minced
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1 green onion, minced
1/2 tsp Hungarian smoked paprika*
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
Chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

For the remoulade:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sweet relish
1/4 tsp prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp vegan worstechire sauce
A couple of squeezes of lemon juice
A couple dashes sriracha sauce

Prepare the quinoa by adding it to a sauce pot with two cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about twenty minutes or until all of the vegetable stock is absorbed and the quiona tender.

While the quinoa is cooking put the cauliflower into another sauce pan and and add the rest of the vegetable stock. The cauliflower is not covered, ad some  to cover. If the cauliflower is not covered, add some additional vegetable stock or water to cover and then turn heat to high. Allow the cauliflower to boil until tender, about fifteen minutes or so.  Test with a fork for doneness; the cauliflower should be tender and break apart easily.

Once the quinoa and cauliflower are done, add both to a food processor with the two cloves of garlic and puree until very smooth (note: depending on the size of the processor you have  you may need to do this in batches).

Once everything is combined add to a large bowl with the vegan mayonnaise, bread crumb, chopped celery, parsley and green onion.  Add the Hungarian paprika and salt and pepper. Hand mix until all is well incorporated.  Place bowl in the refrigerator for about fifteen minutes to allow the mixture to firm up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

When the mixture is firm, remove from the refrigerator. Form into patties. The toal quantity of patties will be dependent on how big you make them. I got about twelve out of the batch I made.

To make the remoulade simply whisk all ingredients together.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. When heated, add cakes to the pan and brown about two or three minutes per side.  Transfer the browned patties to a baking sheet lined with non stick foil or parchment paper.  Heat in 375 degree oven for about fifteen minutes. If the patties are getting too brown they can be finished in the oven covered with foil.

Serve garnished with remoulade and green onion (if desired).

*Note: Hungarian smoked paprika has a stong flavor. Adjust amount according to your liking or substitute with another seasoning. For a crabcake like flavor you could substitute with Old Bay, just increase the amount according to what tastes good to you.

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